On the heels of a five month-long investigation into Lompoc methamphetamine sales, Sheriff’s narcotics detectives arrested four Lompoc and Los Angeles residents allegedly involved in moving the drug.
On December 29, 2015, investigators began to follow 43-year-old Rene Ramirez of Los Angeles after his car was identified “as the suspect vehicle used to transport methamphetamine to Santa Barbara County,” according to a Sheriff’s Office press release. Ramirez, an alleged meth supplier, was arrested the next day at a hotel in Lompoc during an enforcement stop.
A K9 search of his car had revealed “more than four pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated wholesale street value of approximately $14,350” stashed inside a hidden compartment, the Sheriff’s Office said. Ramirez was booked into County Jail on alleged charges of possessing meth for sale, transporting meth, concealing meth inside the hidden compartment, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His girlfriend, 35-year-old Monica Avalos, also of Los Angeles, was arrested at the same time on the same reported meth charges.
Alleged methamphetamine trafficker, 34-year-old Gilbert Villareal and his girlfriend — 27-year-old Rae-Ahnie Lopez — both of Lompoc, were also arrested on December 30 after detectives served a search warrant at their hotel, where they discovered “methamphetamine packaged for sales, narcotic trafficking indicia [signs], a loaded firearm, and more than $7,000 in cash,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. The two were booked into County Jail — Villareal on alleged charges of possessing meth for sale, transporting meth, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and Lopez on alleged charges of possessing meth for sale.
Avalos and Lopez were released on their own recognizance, said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover. Villareal posted bail at $500,000 and Ramirez at $360,000.